As Legal as a Wrist Lock (AEW Review)

Hey, kids, it’s the Botching one with another Journal entry!  We apologize for the lack of Journal entries the last two weeks and for the lateness of this one.  I’m not sure what’s happened either but we’re back now and it won’t happen again!  This week looked to be a Chris Jericho 30th Anniversary Celebration.  Let’s see what we have in store here.  Note:  This was written as I watched it very early Friday morning…

 

Brian Cage vs. Will Hobbs

I am so happy for Will Hobbs, I can’t stand it.  I’ve watched him go from this indie guy who might have something to someone on a major wrestling promotion who clearly has buckets full of “it”.  This looked to be a hoss fight…and it was.  It was also a compelling wrestling match.  They also did a nice job of making him look strong period.  Tazz and Ricky did as well.  I love that while the match was going on, the commentators told us things about him – the loss of his brother and his benching capabilities.  Queen feels AEW doesn’t tell stories adequately and while I don’t agree, this is a step in a direction she’ll likely be more comfortable with.  Cage does a very impressive standing moonsault.  It’s not Apollo Crews but his form is excellent.  Will came out of his loss looking really good and that’s what was needed.

 

In-ring segment – Tazz, Ricky Starks, & Brian Cage

Tazz is wretched at talking.  He got lost at first and it was distracting.  I loved Will crawling too is feet as fast as he could.  Darby came out for the save and that made total sense based on the story they’ve been telling.

 

Congrats #1 – Slash, Dennis Miller, Hiroshi Tanahashi, Ted Irvine (his father), and Bully Ray

Everyone was decent here.  Just quick “congrats on 30 years.  The most fun was Bully Ray who said nothing at all but showed his congratulations with…bubbly.  Gotta love Bully Ray.

 

The Hybrid2 (Jack Evans & Angelico) vs. FTR (Dax Harwood and Cash Wheeler) w/ Tully Blanchard

Angelico & Evans are so innovative.  They did a bunch of things in the opening sequence that we just don’t see. Love that!  The backslide with the bridge from Evans was just genius.  The old school-ness of this was really fun.  Jack hinted at knee trouble when he dove outside, Dax caught it, and made him pay for a long time.  ‘Course, in order for that to work, Evans has to sell and he sold really well.  The hot tag was fun and Angelico is a whole different thing.  I loved watching Angelico having his submission locked into both Dax & Cash.  There was some really interesting stuff that happened towards the end.  Even FTR got in on the innovation.  FTR is very Minnesota Wrecking Crew but they’re really coming into their own so that they’re merely reminiscent of them.  That’s what needs to happen.  Love FTR’s finisher too.

So far, this episode is going extremely well.

 

Backstage segment – Young Bucks (Nick Jackson & Matt Jackson)
Too short for a grade

They super kicked the cameraman.  Then, we get hotdogs with FTR.  This gets us…

 

In-ring segment – Best Friends (Chuck Taylor & Trent)

HA!  They both came out in shirts with the wieners on them.  The joke was stupid but it was silly fun.  The promo was short and sweet.  This match will be a lot of fun next week.

 

Backstage segment – MJF

Dude is a star.  He could have talked for another half hour and I’d have been fine with it.  Of all of the people in AEW, he’s the one with the most on the ball.  Heck, of all the people in wrestling, he’s the one with the most on the ball.

 

Congrats #2 – Shaquille O’Neal, Gene Simmons, Don Callis, Lars Ulrich, and DDP

You can tell that Lars probably went on a lot longer but they edited him.  He does tend to talk but it’s cool.  These were fun little snippets.

 

Cinéma de Dog Collar – Brodie Lee, Cody, & Arn Anderson

Arn Anderson is a master storyteller and he used it all here.  This is where he earns his money and what makes him the legend he is.  It wasn’t long…but it was effective.  Loved every second of this.

 

Cody vs. Brodie Lee (Dog Collar match)

The brown hair is back…and so is Brandi.  This is a total blast from the past.  We never see Dog Collar matches anymore and I love that we’re getting one here.  They even referenced the most famous Dog Collar match:  Greg Valentine vs. Roddy Piper.  He was even there in the audience…reacting badly throughout the match!  During the course of that match, Piper suffered a ruptured eardrum so this match isn’t for sissies.

I love that they had a doctor and they announced him.  It really ratchets up the tension nicely.

As for the match, it was fun.  Poor Silver.  He took so much damage and Brodie couldn’t have cared less.  Anna Jay came to attend to Silver and Brodie just wanted them both gone.  I do have to say that Cody overuses blood.  He bladed incredibly quickly – much faster than was sensible, IMHO.  It took Brodie much longer but he truly had a crimson mask.

We also got a quick spot with Alex Reynolds catching it from Arn.  He is in no position to be doing anything in a ring and I hope that’s all he ever does.  I cringed when I saw it and you probably did too.

Love that Brodie rendered Cody’s finisher inert by kicking out of it at 1.  LOL!  ‘Course, Cody would put it on in far more dramatic fashion later and get the win with it.

Both of them worked very hard here and it was really entertaining.  I’m not sure how I feel about Cody becoming champion again so fast.

 

In-ring segment – Cody, Dustin Rhodes, Arn Anderson, & Brandi Rhodes

The “man of the people” thing fits him well.  He has such passion and heart and it comes out all over the mic when he speaks.  Orange and Cody next week for the TNT championship.  Gotta love that.

 

Backstage segment – Kenny Omega

I’m still waiting to be utterly impressed by Kenny the way many others are.  This was a weak promo so this didn’t help.  He got lost and repeated himself at the end too which did him no favors.

 

Big Swole vs. Serena Deeb

Alleliteheels.com.  ROFL!!!  Yeah, okay.  So now I’m supposed to believe you care about women?  Fine.  Here’s a thought – just go here with me.  Instead of silly websites that mean nothing, how about…

We have women’s matches with storylines that we can follow?

I know, I know, but it’s just crazy enough to work.  Other promotions do it, after all!

Poor Serena.  She couldn’t even get a proper entrance.  The chauvinism here is getting harder and harder to ignore and it’s just silly.  Big Swole is platinum and Serena’s no slouch either.  They proved it with this match.  While there was no motivation for this match (typical for women’s matches), they showed out here, thought the match couldn’t go longer because, like virtually every other women’s match involving AEW talent, there was no story to carry it.  We’ve never really had a chance to see Swole sell much but she did here and did it well.

 

Cinéma de Unhinged – Jon Moxley

Mox is just a master at stuff like this.  He told such a great story here and I loved every second of it.  He just sold me on his match with Archer.  This is honestly all it took.

 

Chaos Project (Luther & Serpentico) vs. Chris Jericho & Jake Hagar

Fun match.  I haven’t seen that much of Luther or Serpentico myself.  Luther isn’t a diver and his dive proved it.  It was incredibly clumsy and he barely managed to find balance.  Why he decided to dive twice and do top-rope things three times is anyone’s guess.  It’s nothing he’s good at.  He wasn’t great otherwise either – kinda slipping around the ring rather than working it well.  Serpentico was somewhat better but the match as a whole was slow and just okay.

Floyd ending up in Luther’s hands at the end was fun.  Of course, Jericho picked up the win with Judas Effect.

 

Congrats #3 – Lance Storm, Kevin Smith, Eli Roth, Gabriel Iglesias & Chavo Guerrero, Steel Panther, Ultimo Dragon, Paul Stanley

I’m not even sure Kevin or Eli know who Chris is.  Apparently, Kevin did some trivia thing with him (thanks, Sam) but he didn’t act like he knew him at all.  Otherwise, this was fine.

 

In-ring segment – Chris Jericho, MJF, Jake Hagar, Wardlow, Santana, and Ortiz

“Count with me if ya know how”!  Gladico Le Clown.  Poor Gladico.  I am DEAD!  MJF’s present was a riot.  Beyond that, this was nothing.

 

For a show that was alleged to be a Chris Jericho celebration, there was very little…celebration here.  It was just a regular show with a few spots of “atta boy, Jericho”.  It should have been much more than that.  Heck, they could have gotten footage from NJPW to use in a retrospective way.  That part of the show was very underwhelming.  The rest was pretty good, actually.

Thanks for reading and I’ll see you next week for another Journal entry!